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Sermons

Cost of Discipleship

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Luke 14:25-33
(8-9-13)

This is one of those weeks when every vicar will have looked at the set Gospel reading and then quickly glanced to see if any of the other readings would do instead! It is Jesus telling people what being a disciple involves and how hard it will be. The beginning of this passage is very daunting and scares many people off. It might help if it is put into context first:

Jesus has just left the Pharisee’s house and is being followed by great crowds. Why? Well its not really because they want to hear about spiritual things, more because it’s kind of parade where they hope see Jesus perform miracles or feed the hungry. Some hoping it’s a march, Jews versus Romans, peasants versus power, Jesus versus the establishment.

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Unlikely Heroes

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Jeremiah 1:4-10 & Luke 13:10-17
(25-8-13)

A Rabbi, a Vicar and a Methodist minister went fishing and patiently sat on the river bank waiting for a bite. After a few hours the Rabbi stood up and said, "I don't think we are to get anywhere here - I'm going to cross the river and try up stream". The Methodist minister said the nearest bridge was 3 miles away. "No problem" replied the Rabbi who knelt down and prayed, then stood up and walked across the water! The Vicar started packing away his fishing equipment, then he knelt down said a quick prayer and walked across the river to join the Rabbi. The Methodist minister thought 'if they can do it so can I'. He knelt down and said a prayer, stood up and walked to the river bank, took one step out into the river and vanished beneath the surface. The Vicar turned to the Rabbi "Do you think we should have told him about the stepping stones"?

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Cloud of Witnesses

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Hebrews 11:29-12:2
(18-8-13)

A little boy went into a shop advertising “Puppies for sale”. The owner showed him five adorable little puppies. How much are they he asked. £50 the man replied.

Reaching into his pocket the little boy pulled out some loose change and counted it. £1.47p. “I’m afraid I can’t sell you one for £1.47p” said the man, “you’ll have to save your money and come back next time we have more puppies for sale”.

The pet shop owner’s wife appeared with another puppy from the back of the shop. It was smaller than the others and had bad leg. It couldn’t stand up properly and it limped. The little boy asked what was wrong with it. The man told him that the vet had examined it and discovered that it didn’t have a hip socket. It would always limp and always be lame.

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Journey of Faith

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Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
(11-8-13)

It’s not often that we get to talk about ‘Hebrews’ so here’s some context. Not known who wrote it but it’s thought to be written AD70 just after the Romans have destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem. This was in response to various Jewish factions who’d risen up against the Romans. Hebrews is written to the Jews who had become Christians and needed strengthening and encouraging. At this time of political and religious crisis, they could neither identify with Rome and its civic rituals nor with Jerusalem and its sacrificial worship.

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The Rich Fool

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Luke 12:13-21 & Colossians 3:1:11
(4-8-13)

Today’s readings are a real challenge. Especially for those of us who think it right and proper to be prudent and ‘put-by’ for old age so that we won’t be a burden on the state or our family. Are these not the very same principals driving the ‘rich fool’ in our Gospel story?

It begins with a rift between two brothers over their inheritance. It was common then for Rabbis to settle this sort of dispute. However Jesus didn’t come to settle domestic disputes and this passage isn’t really about an everyday story regarding barns. Jesus’ real concern is over the wider issue of what’s important and what’s not. Hearts needed changing because His hearers really wanted Jesus to serve them rather than save them.

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